War is a bad thing. People die. Things are destroyed. To be proficient in war is to be proficient in devastation. Wars happen because humans must have what they desire, no matter what.
War is a good thing. People die so that others may live and know peace. Instruments of evil are destroyed. Wars happen because people determine their lives are expendable in the struggle against evil.
War is a mixed bag. It is an enthralling combination of the worst and best of humankind.
But, ultimately, war is the cost of evil. Evil left unchecked would soon cover the planet in anarchy, tyranny and destruction. Proclaiming peace without the commitment to die for that proclamation is futility.
It is this aspect of man made in God’s image that causes men and women to be willing to die for principles and other people. As Americans we live and enjoy freedom because others who went before you did not value their lives over yours.
Remember the brave who have given their lives for yours. Remember those who lived through the horrors of war who were willing to give up their lives so you would know peace. Remember those currently serving and the first responders who face evil and death each day, because they live for something greater than themselves.
Jesus Christ sets the standard for what is good about war. He has gained the victory over evil at the cost of his own good life. He has shown himself to be the great, ultimate warrior in two ways.
First, he is the good man who, at the cross, laid down his life for his friends.
And he is great warrior who will, in God’s good providence, crush evil so that it will plague us no more.
Jesus, the Warrior who will end all wars!
I saw heaven standing open and there before me was a white horse, whose rider is called Faithful and True. With justice he judges and makes war. 12 His eyes are like blazing fire, and on his head are many crowns. He has a name written on him that no one knows but he himself. 13 He is dressed in a robe dipped in blood, and his name is the Word of God. 14 The armies of heaven were following him, riding on white horses and dressed in fine linen, white and clean. 15 Out of his mouth comes a sharp sword with which to strike down the nations. “He will rule them with an iron scepter.” He treads the winepress of the fury of the wrath of God Almighty. 16 On his robe and on his thigh he has this name written:
King of Kings and Lord of Lords.